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New cultural center in Central will showcase city's centuries-old roots

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CENTRAL - Over in Central, a brand new community is being built where an old rundown fitness center was sitting vacant.

Weeks in and the Central Cultural Foundation is making serious progress. They hope to open the cultural hub which will offer a look at the city's arts and history. 

Years in the making, many are now excited to see a home built for the city's unique offerings. The 6,000 square-foot building has already changed so much. From a gym, to a karate studio and even an antique shop, the site off Sullivan Road is now taking form to preserve and promote the city of Central. 

The main lobby will be used as a gallery for local artists. 

"Giving them a home is the main thing," said Dave Freneaux, Chairman of the Central Cultural Foundation.

It'll showcase everything from local paintings and artworks to entire sculptures.

"It's gonna be a great place for the art league of Central to have receptions and openings and judgements.... and the city to see that local artists in Central are significant," Freneaux said.

And that's not all: an entire room will be dedicated to the Historical Society, displaying documents, clippings, photographs and much more that has just been waiting to be appreciated.

"We have probably 40 or 50 file boxes of all the history, and it's really never had a place to reside, to get sorted through, scan and put on the internet."

While it may be one of the newest cities in Louisiana, it has history dating back to the 1800s. Those archives have remain boxed up since the city's inception in 2005. 

At the heart of the community center, a theatre is already in the works with more than 125 seats for those in attendance and a giant main stage for live entertainment. Still to come, some serious lighting fixtures and even a whole sound booth to compliment the new theatre.

"There's a place now that people can have something to do in Central that is arts and entertainment oriented," Freneaux added.

And the name of the theatre, Sullivan's Theatre, has some special meaning to the city.

"I can tell you it's because the Sullivans were one of the original families in Central."

The team at Central Cultural Foundation and other volunteers are hoping to have the center complete in the coming weeks, with its first live act slated for June 1. 

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